Friday, January 3, 2014

Life Is Beautiful

A few days ago as I was unloading my little ones out of the car two elderly couples walked up to get in their car parked next to mine. They all stopped and began admiring both Rex and Vivienne. "Such a beautiful baby, what dark eyes." "Would you look at that pretty little girl and her cute outfit?" "oh they are both at such a fun age!" Then they all climbed in the car but one woman lingered back and leaned into me "I'm sure you hear this a lot honey, but enjoy this time, it's the most precious part of life."

The night before this encounter I had a moment while I rocked Rex in his dark room nursing him to sleep. I am so happy I thought to myself. Then I was quickly consumed with panic. Wait, stop, time please slow down, I need to catch up to you! I could see the years in my mind. The ones with my young new little family and my sweet little babies slipping through my fingers. I am not looking to the future and forgetting the present but I AM reminded that time is so fleeting.

This holiday season I have been centered and focused in on my life and all the good that surrounds it. I am so blessed. I am so loved. I am so happy. So blissfully happy. The stage of life I am in right now brings me such joy. Growing up I dreamed about having babies. Being a mother was meant for me. Not that I am perfect at mothering, mothering is perfect for me. I need it to feel whole. To feel fulfilled. To feel like a woman. Holding my babies and looking into their beautiful faces and knowing that I carried, birthed, nourished and now love and care for them is above all the greatest gift I could ever know on this earth. I know that all my stages of life will bring different joys but I know I can honestly say that these are the golden years for me. I am in it. My element. I think if I could I would have my life stay in some crazy limbo where my babies stay little and innocent forever.

At no other time in my life thus far have I been so touched and involved with strangers on a daily basis. Something about having little ones just knocks down all the barriers and opens up a kindred connection between strangers and I both young and old. For that brief few minutes or even seconds we are one in the same sharing our love for the children we have been blessed with however small or grown they may be. A checker at the grocery telling me of his new baby girl. A woman remembering her daughter so little who is now a beautiful teen. A sweet old man with talk of his children grown with little ones of their own. It always brightens my day and is a constant reminder of how much I cherish my babes.

Life is beautiful. I am so blessed. I have struggled the last couple of years with being negative and down with certain situations in my life and I am so proud to feel that I have changed and grown and reached a place where I am finally genuinely happy. Still growing. But so happy. I am fiercely in love with a man that loves me back and makes me feel like I want to be my best self. Loving him is effortless. Watching him with our children has deepened and continues to deepen my love for him daily. I have the most beautiful, healthy and happy children. Their little bodies are bursting with giant spirits and enormous hearts. Living life through their eyes day to day has woken me up to the splendor and beauty and simplicity of it all.

I will continue to have moments of panic and worry that time will not just STAND STILL. But for now I am content to just let my whole being be enveloped in the love and happiness that is my stage of life. My sweet tiny little Rex will toddle toward me and reach his arms up my legs. I scoop him up and kiss his sweet soft cheeks and smell his delicious skin. I look into his deep dark eyes and he gives me his adorable crooked smile while touching his baby fingers to my chin. My Viv will give me her adorable smile and ask to hug me (hold me). I pick her up and she entwines her fingers in my hair. I brush her sandy blonde bangs that are always hanging in her face across her for head and run my fingers through her soft curls. She kisses my cheek then leans back and looks at me, tilting her head to the side and letting her whole  expression soften and relax. "I love you Mommy." "I love you too Viv." My sweet sweet Viv, I love you too.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rex's Birth Story Wrap Up- FINALLY

I really have become the worst blogger. Lets get this story finished already! You can read part one here. Once again only read on if you want my personal detailed story!

So it was now 12:30 AM and I was still dilated to a 6 after four hours of hard labor. My midwife Liz decided to have me try laying on my back and bringing my knees up to my armpits and curling my chin to my chest while pushing through my next contraction. She checked me again after and it had dilated me to a 7. She told me afterwards that my cervix was not softened enough so next she just had me try a few different positions during contractions. Hands and knees, bending my knees while holding the bedpost and finally squatting. I finally was just so tired that I laid down on the floor on my left side. At this point things really seemed to just slow down. The lights were dimmed and I stayed that way through quite a few contractions. I had gotten really shaky and just laid there shaking between contractions. My breathing had become really intense with the contractions at this point I think I was just needing a break. Payton laid next to me and held my hand and all but fell asleep if it weren't for me squeezing his every other minute. Janet the assistant was laying on the floor as well and at one point stared snoring! Liz was by my side the whole time. She was rubbing my calves between contractions and pressing hot towels into my lower back during them. The hot towels felt so nice. I would try and focus on the heat from the towel instead of my pain.

Around 1:30 Liz checked me again. My cervix had gone back down to a 6. I had NO IDEA that was possible! It was at this point that Liz informed me he was posterior. She of course had known that before now and told me after the birth that the position he was in was what was causing my body to not only stop dilating but to seize back up. The back labor caused by the posterior position was now explained. OUCH. She realized we needed to get aggressive or there would be no moving forward. We went back to the pushing position and with each new contraction I curled and pushed with every ounce of strength I had while Liz used warm olive oil to stretch and massage my perineum as well as try and turn the baby. This was exhausting. I had no support to hold up my head when I was curling in and there were a lot of moments when I dropped my head back mid push cause it was getting so hard to hold up. This is also when the pain from my earlier adjusted sternum and ribs came on with a vengeance. My chest was hurting me so bad that it took away all the focus on any other pain from the contraction, stretching, trying to turn baby, etc. The only ting I remember saying during this period of time was how bad my chest hurt. Payton suggested using my yoga balls under my back between contractions for some relief. I gave it a try and Liz immediately said I couldn't since it tipped my uterus in the opposite direction we needed to try and get the baby to turn. She finally had me move to a sitting position straddling the toilet to see if it would help the pain in my chest. I only lasted one contraction and wanted to move back to the floor.

I think we figured I did this pushing through contractions for about 40 minutes to continue dilating my cervix. The same thing happened when I got to a 9, it quickly went back to an 8 since I rested for a minute. So there was no resting allowed! I always pictured that when it came time for transition there would kinda be a pause. Like here is your minute of prep time to get ready to push. But for me I went straight from pushing to dilate to all of a sudden out of nowhere, BAM!!!! the most insane pain of my entire life!!!! And at that moment I was completely taken over. I couldn't speak. I couldn't think. I went into shock. For the next few minutes I wailed uncontrollably in pain and somehow shrieked through pushes. There is no way to truly describe my pain. I felt a hot burn from my hips all the way to the tips of my toes and the most insane sensation that someone might grab each one of my ankles and pull them in opposite directions tearing my body straight in two. Liz told me to reach down and feel the head while it was crowning. I did but really would have been fine if I had not. Then Liz yelled at Payton to get behind me and give me more support since I was still flat on my back. He reached his arms under my armpits and quickly slid behind me putting his back against the wall. I remember freaking out when that was happening cause the babies head was halfway out and KILLING ME! Once I had Payt there I was able to wrap my arms around his knees and really bare down. It felt so good (no relief of pain) to have him hold my body and support my weight. It gave me just the strength I needed to push him the rest the way out. My water bag ruptured and I felt his head come out and it released a great deal of the pressure. Then Janet said reach down and grab your baby and for the first time since the wailing started I yelled I CAN'T! Only because I physically could not let go of my death grip on Payton's legs and I did not want to move. Liz said I needed to push one more time to get his shoulders out and that's the first time I remember having clear thinking back as I thought to myself I could not push again. I did and it hurt to feel his shoulders come out then the way he came out made his feet hit me funny and that hurt too! I distinctly remember feeling the head, the shoulders and the the feet. And there he was. She immediately brought him to my chest and I gave in to the exhaustion and the tears started to flow as well as the uncontrollable shaking. Payton, who had stayed quiet the whole time said "it's OK you don't need to cry". And I stuttered through my shaky voice "I'm emotional!" It was 2:20 AM.

Rex cried for just a tiny second and then snuggled into me and fell asleep holding my finger. Liz said I needed to push the placenta out and I practically laughed that she had to be kidding me. She said we could wait a minute. Within minutes of him being out my crotch was on FIRE. It felt so raw that I began to cry even harder since it was hurting. I was shaking so bad. And stuttering even worse. Janet put an herbal mixture under my tongue to help my uterus contract and then got me some orange juice to help with the shaking. The second the juice hit my throat it burned. It felt like I'd imagine it might feel if I had taken a shot of straight rubbing alcohol. My throat was raw from my wailing.

I think we were sitting on the floor after for about 10 minutes as Liz cleaned everything up lickity split, delivered the placenta and checked me for tearing. She was so surprised that I had no perennial tearing. She said his head was really large and he had never turned, coming out posterior. When they come out that way the crown of the head is not able to collapse which makes it easier to come down the birth canal. It made for a very large, round, beautifully shaped head though. She also said that my previous OB had stitched up my episiotomy with Viv so tight that it was as if I'd never had a baby before. She was sure I would tear and said she thought she was even going to have to cut me at one point. I know that the extra stretching and massaging helped and I think I might have been blessed because that was the worst part of my recovery with Viv and I prayed I wouldn't have to deal with that again. Liz did find a tear on the inner upper right side but left it to heal on it's own. They decided to get me into bed so I could put pressure on my crotch. I handed Rex to Payton and they cleaned me up and changed my shirt. I had to crawl to the bed and was shaking so bad. Once I was propped up in bed Liz asked if I wanted to nurse him or if I would rather have her take and bathe and weigh him. I told her to take care of him, I desperately needed to regroup.

I sat there in my bed in shock. Shaking. It was so surreal as I realized what had just happened. I thought to myself there is no way I could ever do that again. But then my next thought was that I never wanted to do it in the hospital with drugs again either.The next couple hours were very calm. Liz bathed, weighed, measured and dressed Rex. Then she gave him to me to nurse and he latched on and fell right to sleep. Payton and I sat in our bed with Liz sprawled out by our feet and Janet in the rocker by my side. We talked about my experience and how things had gone. Payton said he was so glad we got to go to sleep in our own bed. Once Liz and Janet left around 4:30 AM we turned out the lights and drifted off in the comfort of our own home in our own bed.

Minus the 5 or so minutes of going slightly crazy I loved everything else about choosing a home birth. If Liz would not have had me push to dilate like she did I most likely would have never made any more progress and my labor would have eventually stopped. If I would have been in the hospital with a regular OB I would have been given pitocin and possibly had other interventions that I was not wanting. I loved being in the comfort of my own room and having it be so intimate and calm and personal. I was given so much care and attention from Liz. She went above and beyond and helped pull me through the most difficult thing I have ever accomplished in my entire life. To be able and sit in my room and hang out afterwards was so personal and comforting. And to go to bed next to my husband in our own bed with no one bothering us was heaven. We woke up later that morning with a beautiful new baby boy snuggled between us and it was so surreal and special. And then to hear the door and walk out to our living room and see my sweet Viv's face coming to meet her new brother. No protocols, no agendas, no haggling over bills. It was perfect. I could NEVER have a natural drug free birth in the hospital. I needed to be home and have someone like Liz to make that possible. Women that have natural births in hospitals are rock stars in my books! Way tougher than me.

Now with that being said I feel it important that I don't skip over other feelings that I had. I had read and heard many others experiences and had gotten an idea in my head of how I thought things "should" or "would" be. I knew it would be hard and I knew it would be intense. I thought that once all was said and done it was just relief and sheer happiness and a great sense of accomplishment. Shortly after Rex was here and I climbed into my bed and was left to my own thoughts for a few minutes I immediately did not feel the way I had pictured. I felt like a failure. That few minutes near the end when I was in so much pain and I could not control myself had really shocked me. I felt like I had become a crazy person for a moment and that was scary in a deeper way then I was ready for. I was really "down" that whole day. Liz came to check on us later that night and I told her how I was feeling. Like I hadn't done a good job. She strongly reassured me that I had done an amazing job. That my labor and delivery had been an extremely painful and intense one and that I was perfectly ok with the way I had acted. It really took a few weeks and hearing a few of my friends natural birth experiences and more reassurance from Liz to get past my initial feelings and realize it was completely normal. And thankfully you really do "forget" the pain with time! I am so pleased with my experience compared to my first birth with Vivienne. I was so sad to see Liz at my 6 week check-up and know it was my last visit till my next pregnancy. I wasn't ready to let go of the rhythm I had gotten used to and hated that I wouldn't be walking through her front door anymore. I have made to two visits to my regular OB in the last 6 months and it just solidified how happy I was that I chose the route that I had. It was perfect for me personally and for my little family. I won't ever do it any other way.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rex's Birth Story Part Two

Will you look at that?? I can't even figure out where that 9+ weeks since I've had Rex have disappeared to. Oh well, they are gone and there is just no retrieving them. So here I am Finally writing my home birth experience. Once again may I remind you that if you choose to read this post, that it is going to be a very detailed and very personal account of happenings.

So here we go!

My due date was February 23, a Saturday. I had decided early on in my pregnancy that I was not going to try and do any sort of thing whatsoever to induce labor this time around. I tried almost everything with Vivienne. Walking, running, dancing, stairs, yoga ball. Oils, massage, pressure points, tea, sex, spicy food you name it. As well as having my membranes swept five times and the very desperate go at caster oil. She still came four days after her due date. And besides trying everything I was an anxious basket case with nothing to keep my mind off baby coming. I wanted to avoid that this time around as much as possible. I didn't even have my midwife check me till after I had reached 40 weeks.

So my due date came and went and I made my way into week 41 of pregnancy. For the last two month my back had been bothering me quite a bit. the same thing had happened when I was pregnant with Viv so I didn't think much of it but this time it was much worse. It would flare up really bad some days and every night was rough. I bought some small exercise balls and the only way I could sleep was to jam them under my back in the spots that were pinched so bad. I would just move them around all night to the new spots that would start to aggravate me. It was TONS of fun! It seemed that the last week it had started to get really bad. Once I passed my due date my back pain was almost unbearable. There was one spot about mid back on my right side that was just screaming at me. Plus my front side right under my chest on the right side had started to hurt. It felt like I had a metal rod straight through from front to back. It was a super intense pinched pain. By Thursday I was so miserable that I scheduled a massage with the therapist at the Birth Sweet. It was amazing! By the end of my massage the pain was gone. I thought I was in the clear. But by the time I was in my car the pain was back with a vengeance. Driving in the car was the worst! The position I had to be in just sent my pain through the roof. Friday evening my midwife called me to see how I was doing and told me to come see her the next morning. that night my back pain was so bad I could not lay down in any position. I didn't sleep. I spent the night on my knees hung over my yoga ball. It was the only thing I could do to ease the pain.

The next morning, March 2nd. Now a week past my due date I headed to my midwifes house just up the street. Payt's Dad and wife had decided to come to town the night before just for the heck of it so I left Viv home with them. Liz checked me and said I was dilated to a 5, 90 percent thinned and my cervix was at a stage 1. All Awesome signs. She swept my membranes for the first time and when I told her about the pain I'd been having she mentioned I could possibly have a rib out of place. She told me she would call her chiropractor about checking me and that she would see me that afternoon because surely I was having a baby.

I left happy as a clam. We went for a walk to the park by my house and I was cramping and contracting pretty good. My mom called and I told her I was having a baby today. Text a few friends and gave them a heads up. Then called Payt and told him to come home soon cause we were having a baby soon. by the time we got home from the park my cramping had slowed a little. Liz called and said the chiropractor could see me at 2. I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to make it till then and that I would have to deal with the pain in my back. I was certain I would be having a baby. 2:00 came and I headed to the chiropractors office only to find it locked. I started to walk around the block to kill time and called Liz. She found out that he was stuck in a funeral and would be there by 2:45. He was coming in just for me on his day off. Liz asked how I was doing and I told her that my contractions had slowed and were only about 5-7 then some 10 whole minutes apart! She met me at the office and the the chiropractor finally took a look at me. Well what do ya know, I had THREE ribs out of place and he had to adjust my sternum in TWO places! Hmm never knew that was possible. It took away the intense pain I'd been having but it was still pretty achy and tender. I got home and was able to lay down and take a little nap. By 6:00 my father in law and the rest the family came over. I was starting to feel pretty discouraged since my contractions had all but stopped completely. Liz called to make sure she had not missed a call from me. I think she could tell I was pretty bummed.  She told me to come see her again that night at 8:30. the time rolled around and everyone went to leave. I decided to send Viv with Craig and Tanya  for the night just in case. I was a wreck. I had NEVER spent a night away from Viv since she was born. I bawled like a baby.

I headed to Liz's house for a second time that day. She checked me and said I had dilated to a 6. But my cervix was at a stage three when it had been at a one this morning. (stage one is better than stage three) She said my body was more prepared to give birth that morning than it was now. How is that possible?? I never knew you could back track!!!! WHAT??! She swept my membranes quite aggressively and had me put a few drops of an herbal blend under my tongue called start up. It brought on a contraction within seconds. I headed home and thankfully my contractions picked up. They continued on strong so I told Payt we should probably try and go to bed since I thought we would be getting up to have a baby. We got in bed about 9:30. Payt fell asleep right away and I got up after a few minutes since my contractions were pretty painful. I decided to start timing them. They quickly became 2-3 minutes apart. I called Liz just after 10 and told her I guess she should head over. I woke up Payt to let him know she was on her way and this was really happening. Liz got to my house about 10:30 pm. I was still able to handle my contractions pretty well so she said she would stay in the living room and give us some space till I felt like I needed her. Payt settled down to watch some T.V. and I decided to get in the tub.

The hot water felt really good. I tried my best to get through contractions for probably only 20 minutes when Liz came to check on me. She stayed with me from then on out. I thought I had been doing pretty well on my own but once Liz was by my side it was such a relief. I was amazing how having her to talk to and tell me what I could do with the next contraction helped me to really focus my energy. She would have me press my lower back down into the tub floor and suck my belly button to my back while she poured water over my belly. It was AMAZING how well all of that helped ease the pain. At some point of being in the tub Liz's assistant Janet showed up and joined us in the bathroom. Payt was  in view in the bedroom but stayed clear unless I asked him for favors like bringing me water or helping Janet find things she would need. My contractions kept getting much stronger, closer together and lasting much longer. Liz guessed that by the way they were that I was most likely dilated to a 9. She decided to have me get out of the tub since I did not want to deliver there. As I was climbing out I had an extremely intense contraction so I just squatted back down. Liz said maybe we would be having this baby in the tub after all. I couldn't respond through my contraction but I knew that was not the case. My body did not feel ready.

They got me set up on the floor and Liz checked me. I was STILL only at  6. It was 12:30 am at this point. I had been in very active hard labor for four hours and made no progress. When she had told me where I was at I really didn't think that much about it. Just kinda 'hmm well that sucks'. I didn't realize till after I delivered that I never had that 'I want to give up' moment that I was sure I would have. I just assumed I would reach that stage where I was at least verbalizing how bad things sucked or that I didn't think I could do it. Really my labor was actually mostly calm. I was in a large amount of pain of course but mostly I just breathed roughly through it. Between contractions I was mostly silent. I think that somewhere inside me just knew that this was the decision I had made and there was no turning back. That I had made my bed and now I had to sleep in it no matter how stinking painful it was.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rex's Birth Story Part One- Discovering Home Birth

My boy is already one month old. Where the last four weeks have disappeared to.... hmm someone tell me?? It has been so easy to put everything, and I mean EVERYTHING on the top shelf since Rex has been born and just enjoy my babies. I think one month of letting the house gather dust, the laundry never getting  past the dryer stage and Payton eating scrambled eggs for dinner was long enough. I am ready to get back into the swing of things!

Now with that being said I figure there wasn't a better way then to kick it off with finally documenting Rex's birth story. It really is going to be the full account of how I came across and decided on a home birth as well as my pregnancy, labor, delivery and recovery. One of the main things that helped me in deciding and sticking with my decision on home birth was hearing others experiences. I hope that my story can be one that someone might read when trying to decide on a home birth.

So for those of you that need warning...... here it is! This is going to be a very long, very detailed, very personal recount of happenings. So only read it if you truly have interest. Here we go!

During my first pregnancy, the thought of having a natural birth crossed my mind countless times. It was of course always quickly pushed aside with the thought of the unkown and honestly pure terror. I have always been a super big pain baby and my biggest fear is needles. My labor and delivery seemed to go off without a hitch and I found myself sitting in a hospital room holding my baby girl thinking 'that was it?'. It seemed so quick and easy and I didn't think anything badly about it. it was about four months later when I happened across a home birth story in the blog world that I started to rethink my experience. I realized that there were many things that I really didn't like about it. I was simply a first time mom with no education on the matter. Just scared and following protocols without a blink and doing whatever I was told because I figured I was handing over the reigns and putting our well being in their hands. Little did I know that I had a choice. A lot of choices actually.

I began to seek out others birth stories, watching videos and checking out books from he library. I dove right in head first and never came up for air. It didn't take long to know that I wanted to deliver my next baby at home. First I knew for certain that I wanted to have a natural childbirth and wanted nothing to do with the hospital. Second was birth center or home birth? That was a no brainer. When I don't feel well all I want to do is be at home where I am comfortable. So why not, when I am to be in the most uncomfortable most painful state of my life possible would I be anywhere than the comfort of my own home??

About six months after I ran across my first home birth story I casually mentioned to Payton that I wanted to have our next baby in our home and wondered how he felt about it. He sat there quiet for a moment and then simply said 'just as long as they clean up the mess before they leave'. I guess that meant he was on board??
Only four months later when I learned I was pregnant I stuck by my decision 100% and did not call my regular OB. In fact I didn't do anything for almost four weeks! This pregnancy, labor and delivery could not have been any more night and day from my first. I finally called a few midwives that I had found to set up consultations. I had three. The first went really well but I didn't mind that I had others to see. At my second consult I felt an immediate pull. She was different and quirky and didn't give me the super personal feelings of attachment I was seeking. But she was real and she was open and she moved me. I left her home and walked the half mile back to my house and I knew she was the one. An overwhelming feeling washed over me and I knew that I had made the right choice in home birth and now the right choice in a midwife. I felt peace and calm and knew that no matter what may come I had heavenly father looking out for me. I never once faltered in my decision no matter the questioning that was thrown my way. I never had any thought or worry or concern with anything that came my way.

It felt so much more personal to walk right into my midwifes home and spend a full thirty minutes, sometimes more mostly just getting to know each other and really forming a relationship. No lab work, no ultrasounds other than finding out the gender, and absolutely NO NEEDLES! Not a one. I loved my visits and getting to share those moments of hearing baby brothers heart beat with Vivienne time after time. It always felt so calm and right. With My first pregnancy it had this strange feeling of me 'treating my condition' and 'getting through it with the requirements'. This time it felt so nice to just embrace the beauty and miracle of what my body was accomplishing in carrying my sweet growing child. I love knowing that this was what my body was made for as a woman. That I have been blessed to be fully capable of carrying and birthing my sweet babies. It is a gift that I cherish dearly. I will never take that or the gift of being a mother lightly.

The one thing that I needed to go through with a home birth was the support of Payton. He is not the dad that you will find sitting in birthing classes taking notes like many that I saw. He is not the dad that you will find doing breathing exercises with me, catching the baby or even cutting the cord. But he is the husband that has faith in my choices and decisions and stood by me 100% through the entire experience without questioning me a single time. And that was all I needed.

I found a prenatal yoga class that I tried to attend once a week and I loved that hour and fifteen minutes when I was able to go! I never took any type of birthing classes but did attend a few friends of natural birth classes that my midwife put on at the library once a month. They had different topics each time like pain management, the fathers role or dealing with negative reactions from others. It was there that I was able to continue and hear others birth stories but now firsthand. This just fueled my fire of confidence in my decision.

Friday, December 14, 2012

All About Viv- 20 Months

I realize that my blog has taken a serious backseat for quite some time now and I honestly can't say when it will ever get bumped back up front. But for now I'm just going to be okay with that. I was thinking about my Viv the other day though and just how grown up she is. I felt like I needed to document this moment in her life so I don't forget all the sweet little things that make her who she is. So this post is all about my sweet girl and where she is at this exact moment in life.

Favorite foods are cold cereal with milk, berry protein shakes and bean with bacon soup. She is also a ridiculous fan of sweets and soda!! I tell ya that girl was born with more than one sweet tooth. She would have a permanent pick line with soda if I let her. Ugh that is trouble right there.

Her favorite shows are Charlie and Lola, Jo Jo's Circus and Rollie Pollie Ollie. But most of all Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She loves Mickey! She knows all the characters and their names. Her favorite movie is Despicable Me.

She is still obsessed with stuffed animals and blankies. She can't only have one. She needs at least two blankies and like five animals at one time.

She loves babies! She loves to wrap up her baby doll Lila and rock her and sing to her. I think she kinda comprehends that there is a baby in Momma's tummy. If we ask her where baby Rex is she pulls up my shirt and she will give my tummy a love and kisses.

She is really good at going to bed. We brush her teeth and get a drink. Then we tell our Daddy nigh nigh and head to her room. She helps by turning on her sound machine, turning off the light and shutting the door. She still lets me rock her and sing her songs before laying her down and having her tell me nigh nigh, wuv yew.

She HATES having her nails clipped! So most the time she has awful long fingernails that get dirty easily. Don't judge though. If you saw what it took to get those clipped you would understand.

She still loves to tub with Daddy and they could stay in there for over an hour!

She loves animals. She knows all her animals and the sounds they make. At least the ones that you can makes sounds for! She loves dogs and cats the most. She loves our cat but he has turned into a grumpy old man that avoids her most the time like the plague.

She is such a chatter box! She talks all the time and has become our little parrot. Copying everything we say. She is at the stage where you can ask her to say anything and she will, or at least she'll try.

She is a Momma's girl through and through. I feel bad for Payt quite a bit because she prefers me and gives him the shaft lot. She is obsessed with Grandpa Craig and Nana Garner though. Those are the two people that she is usually always willing to give up Momma for.

She has gotten much more snugly. Only with Momma of course. She is so sweet and randomly gives me hugs and kisses. She will take my face in her hands and look me straight in the eyes and say Momma all sweet.

She has been going to nursery at church and has done really well.

She LOVES to draw. She prefers to just have a pad of paper and a pen. She will carry it around and just draw for a good part of the day. She loves stickers too. She has a few notebooks full of scribbles and stickers.

She is so helpful when it comes to getting her ready. She helps me get her dressed. Then we go do her hair and she is so cooperative. She loves to wear socks and almost always has a pair on. She likes to get her shoes and coat on and also loves to pick out and wear a necklace of Momma's for the day. She will leave it on till I take it off when we change at the end of the day. And she will leave her headband on 90% of the time.

She likes going to toddler time at the library once a week and is getting more interactive. Even when she just stands there watching I know she is paying attention because she knows the songs and actions once we are home. She is a tad on the shy side! It takes her a bit to warm up no matter where we are or who we are around.

She loves music and singing. She sings to herself a lot. She knows all the actions to Itsy Bitsy Spider, Patty Cake, Twinkle Twinkle and a few other songs. She likes to sing the ABC's. She knows the whole tune but kinda jabbers most the letters.

She is so close to counting to ten all on her own! She usually skips a couple numbers but for the most part she has it. And she always says BLAST OFF at the end.

She loves the Christmas lights. She always asks to have me turn on our pity yights on the front porch and tree.

She is still just tiny as ever. She weighs 20 pounds... almost. It's been nice that she is still so little, not only because she's still my baby but she likes to be held a lot. And that has been doable even with my growing belly getting in the way! She'll say howd pwise or hug. And she likes having picky backs. (piggy)

Payt likes to pester sometimes! I usually retort with 'honey' in an annoyed tone. Now If he ever does anything to bug her or she just doesn't like she says 'honey'! So he's Daddy if she likes him and Honey when she doesn't.

She has figured out how to turn on and unlock our Iphones. Then she scrolls through and finds the app she wants. She knows how to get into Disney Junior and find her favorite show Mickey. Sheesh kids and electronics these days!

She is so Smart. She continually amazes me with the things that she knows and does. She is just this little person living in our house. She is really such a sweet little girl. But that's not saying she can't whine and have tantrums! Just this week she has started the most hideous fake cry/scream when she's having a tantrum. It is quite dramatic. And annoying. But once it's over it's quickly forgotten cause she is so sweet and cute that it makes up for it.

She has hit a major independent stage and likes to do things herself a lot. Which can be fun sometimes when she can't quite do it and gets mad but WILL NOT let you help. She says sorry a lot! If she trips she'll say sorry. Or she says it for the most random things! I have to tell her it's okay you don't need to say sorry. I don't know where she got that!

She is hopefully turning out to be a polite little girl. I do have to remind her but lots of the time she is good at saying 'pwise', or if she really wants something 'piyi pwise'. She Tells us 'scuse yew' when we burp. She says 'no chankyew' when she doesn't want something. She'll say 'chankyew, yo wewcome' all in one sentence.

Oh we just love our Viv. There are so many more things about her but it's hard to capture them all. I just need to realize that this moment with her won't last much longer and no one will really ever be able to understand the joy of being around her every day and getting to witness every tiny bit of her being. I need to just soak it up while I can and remember that it will be okay when this stage is gone and to dive into the next stage with her full on. This stage is sure fun though! One of my favorites so far. If only I could bottle her up to enjoy over and over again in the future. I am so blessed to have her in my life and she makes me want to be a better person.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Here are the rest of the pictures from the ten day trip Viv and I took up North to visit family. We spent a couple nights at Grandma and Grandpa Garners, Grandpa Craig's, Grandma Tia's and also Matt and Nicole's.
Playing on the back patio ant Tia's.

Enjoying some breakfast.

Tay and I were able to go to Nicole's 365 Swap. It was so much fun! I have never been able to go before and was so grateful to Tia for watching Viv so I could enjoy it.

Seeing the ducks with Grandpa Craig

Enjoying a Cutlers sugar cookie!

Lounging at Grandma Garners.

Viv and Grandpa Garner.

Dad and his personal huckleberry pie Mom made for Fathers Day.

That's about how I felt when it was time to go home! We had so much fun visiting everyone but we sure missed our Daddy! I had found out I was pregnant while on this trip and it was so hard not to tell Payt over the phone every time we talked!! I made Viv's big sister shirt to surprise him when we got off the plane. He was definitely surprised!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Garner Reunion 2012

WOW. These pictures are from JUNE!!!
I realize that if I am to ever catch up and get back on the blogging track I need to just throw all the pictures from the last five months on here with not many words and then move forward. Back in June Payton had to be out of town for 10 days. He had races two weekends in a row in Iowa so they just flew him out and had him stay the whole week. I decided to head North and spend some time with family. It's been so nice to be able to fly and get there in an hour! So the pictures from this post are from the first couple of days of our trip. We spent them having an extended Garner Reunion with my Dad's siblings and there kids and grand kids.

Jumping on the bed with the Lottie our first night in town.

Dallen and Hazel

Viv loved the sandbox! And Jane was so sweet to play with her.
Cole and I with my flaming red hair. I think that was one of the few pics I got while I had that color.
Grandma with Viv and Hazel
Viv with Uncle Dallen and Seth

Just hanging out and visiting

Dad and I

Sweet Lottie Bug

And of course the traditional homemade piniata!